Graves disease (diffuse goiter) – this is the name of the most famous and widespread thyroid disease. It is familiar to many of us from photos from textbooks, where people are depicted with a goiter on the neck and bulging eyes.
This is what a diffuse goiter is. It is treated with hormone therapy. Even before its appearance, it was believed that the only way to cure Graves disease was to remove part of the thyroid gland. During the Middle Ages, no one ever thought about how to treat this disease. People with strange eyes were simply burned at the stake, because they were considered sorcerers and witches.
Fortunately, today Graves disease can be called well studied. And there are several very effective methods for its treatment.
A variety of this disease can be called nodular colloid goiter.
The causes of the disease
There are many reasons leading to the emergence of this disease. Modern doctors suggest that hereditary predisposition plays the largest role in the occurrence of the disease.
In addition, in the past few years, scientists have found that Graves disease has an autoimmune nature, that is, it is associated with a deficiency of the immune system. For this reason, it can be put on a par with hepatitis, rheumatism and ulcerative colitis.
The very occurrence of the disease, and to be more precise, the likelihood that a person will become ill with it is associated with many factors. The first is attributed to mental injury and infection. When an infection enters the body, it triggers the defense mechanisms that cause the immune system to select the thyroid gland as the target.
Remember that even if you have a predisposition for Graves disease, it does not mean that you will get it.
Extent of the disease
The severity of Graves disease is characterized by how severely the thyroid gland is affected:
- Mild degree. When she noted a decrease in body weight by 10-15 percent, rapid heartbeat and decreased performance.
- Average. Approximately 20% of body weight is lost there, the person feels highly nervous excitability, and his heart beats approximately 100-120 beats per minute.
- Heavy stage. Signs: severe weight loss, tachycardia, the occurrence of atrial fibrillation, liver damage, insufficient blood circulation and almost complete disability.
Symptoms of the disease
All symptoms, and some of them have already been named before, can be divided into 3 main groups:
– Goiter, becoming visible even with eye contact. Moreover, the extent to which the thyroid gland is enlarged does not indicate the severity of the disease. That is, in men, the goiter can be enlarged quite insignificantly and hardly palpable. An increase in the gland in them is due to the lateral parts tightly adjacent to the trachea.
– Hempegle. It’s all very individual again. One will just have strangely gleaming eyes, the other may have deformed eyelids.
– Tachycardia – heart palpitations.
These signs can be called characteristic of Graves disease, but in addition to them there are also other symptoms that manifest themselves in this disease.
A person suffering from such an affliction as Graves’ disease will complain that he feels general weakness, his irritability increases, and sleep is disturbed. In addition, you can notice almost complete intolerance to heat and sweating.
Sometimes there is pain of a constricting or stabbing character in the heart. Also increased appetite, but the weight at the same time tends to down. Excess hormones of the gland leads to the fact that trembling appears in the fingers, tongue and all the body. There is almost a constant feeling of anxiety and fear.